MISJUDGMENT IS NOT A CRIME
Why should Henry Greene be removed from office? He has, for all intents and purposes, been exonerated of the allegations of rape leveled against him.
He had claimed that the sexual intercourse that he had with his accused victim was consensual. The courts did not find that there was a sufficient rational basis for him to be charged and the Chief Justice arrived at this decision not on some technicality within the law but on the basis of a thorough and meticulous examination of the statements that were given to the Chief Justice by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Those who have been railing against the decision of the Chief Justice seem to have selective amnesia. They are not even mentioning the fact that the Chief Justice has been quoted in the media as saying that he did not see any statements from the Jamaican sleuths that investigated the case.
Why? Why did the Chief Justice not see this most critical report?
It must be recalled that the government in order to ensure an investigation untainted by bias invited foreign detectives to investigate the case against the Commissioner. What has happened to their report and why was it not submitted to the Chief Justice?
Instead of dealing with this issue, there have been groups, which, having failed to have the Commissioner prosecuted for rape, now want him to be sent home for abuse of the powers of his office.
Abuse of the powers of his office? Are we not missing something here?
Was the Commissioner here? Was he not the victim of entrapment? And who was behind this entrapment?
We can debate whether the Commissioner acted properly in going out with someone who had seen him in his professional capacity. But how many persons in this society have not either met their life partner at their place of employment? But no one says that it is unprofessional to strike up a personal conversation with a customer. How many men in the country have not married their secretaries or someone from their office? How many teachers have not married their students?
Since when it is against the law to fall in love with someone who comes to seek your assistance?
It is not fair to the Commissioner of Police that his conduct be placed under the microscope for abuse of his office while ignoring the possibility that he may have been a victim of entrapment in this instance. In other words, the question of poor judgment on the part of the Commissioner must not be done in isolation from the issue of him being possibly set-up by his accuser who had gone to see him in relation to an investigation that was staking place into an incident involving her.
Under the Constitution, the Commissioner of Police enjoys security of tenure. He cannot be removed from office at the whim of anyone while he enjoys such security. This is why the Constitution provides that for the Commissioner to be removed for misconduct, there is a set-out procedure that has to be followed involving the establishing of a tribunal to investigate the issue of misconduct.
While the Commissioner has retired and therefore can be removed without cause, given the impact that we are dealing with serious allegations, he should at the minimum be afforded a process that would allow him to challenge the charge of misconduct. While the present Commissioner of Police is being kept on at the behest of the government, and therefore can be removed by the government, he should not be dishonorably removed for misconduct without some sort of administrative tribunal being put in place to examine the charges against him.
Misjudgment is not misconduct. But misjudgment can lead to misconduct and therefore those who are alleging that the Commissioner abused the powers of his office by having a sexual liaison must show how these powers were abused if we are dealing with consenting adults.
No such charge of abuse of office was ever made in the case of a former senior policeman who was exposed as having discussed with an opposition politician, matters of national security. No such charges were made when a taped telephone conversation suggested that this senior operative had been having an affair with another female officer who was strategically placed in the force and had even thrown hints about another policewoman’s daughter who was also employed by the police force. So there is a double standard on the part of those who are seeking to have the Commissioner fired.
There were many who were willing to lynch him when he was first accused of rape. As it turned out, there was no case against him.
Now there are those who want to see his back on the basis of abuse of his office. Should he not be given a chance to defend himself also against this charge? And in deference to his office, should the same standard that applies to a Commissioner who enjoys security of tenure, not be applied in this instance? Should the Commissioner not be given the option of defending himself in front of a tribunal.
People make mistakes. The Commissioner made a mistake. How many of us can claim we never did?